Sometimes a situation arises unexpectedly when it is established that you do not have the  mental ‘capacity’ to make decisions about your everyday life and care. Every attempt will be made to support you to make a decision independently, but sometimes this isn’t possible. It is very important that any decision about your mental capacity is made according to the principles of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA). This includes ensuring that any decisions taken on your behalf are only made in your best interests and in consultation with those closest to you.

If you are found to lack mental capacity, you may be ‘deprived of your liberty’ to protect you from coming to harm. This will mean you are under continuous supervision and control and not free to leave. The law says that before someone is deprived of their liberty, independent checks must be done to ensure their wellbeing is protected.

Under these kind of cirumstances, you are entitled to an advocate who can help support you to express your wishes or speak on your behalf. The deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) are set out within law to ensure that if someone's freedom is restricted, it is done so according to the legal requirements and is only done in the person's best interest. Any restrictions of liberty must be kept to the absolute minimum required to prevent the person from coming to harm. 

If you, or someone you know has had or is likely to have their freedom restricted (deprivation of liberty), and you want to talk to someone about it - please call the DoLS team on 01225 477900.

Deprivation of liberty may take place in a care home or hospital or your own home.

You cannot be deprived of your liberty simply because you have made an unwise decision. The deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) requires the professionals working with you to go through a thorough process before it can be established that you lack the mental capacity to make an informed decision.

These are the independent checks which have to be carried out by law (the Mental Capacity Act) before it can be agreed that someone needs to be deprived of their liberty. The checks will be performed by a Mental Health Assessor/ Section 12 doctor and a trained 'Best Interests Assessor’. 

To find out more, read this easy read guide on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and You produced by the Department of Health

Two different people will carry out the independent checks to see whether they agree that deprivation of liberty is necessary. A Mental Health assessor/Section 12 doctor and a trained ‘Best Interests Assessor’. If they agree then they will give the authorisation which can last up to a maximum of 12 months before it will need to be reviewed. However, in reality an authorisation may last for a much shorter time.

You can arrange Lasting Power of Attorney so that someone you know and trust can make decisions on your behalf if you are found to lack mental capacity. You can also arrange for a mental health advocate to do this.

 

If you have had your freedom taken away, you will always have a representative to speak on your behalf. This could be a friend, family member or a professional. You are also entitled to an advocate.

You also have the right to ask for a review from the council or appeal the authorisation by asking a Court of Protection judge to look at your case.

If you want to report a concern that someone is having their liberty unnecessarily deprived, then please contact one of our specialist advisers on 01225 396000

You can arrange for someone you know and trust to handle your affairs. You can also find out about advocates who can help you express your wishes or speak on your behalf.

If you, or someone you know has had or is likely to have their freedom restricted (deprivation of liberty), and you want to talk to someone about it - please call the DoLS team on 01225 477900.

Please find below more background information about the law around Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty:

An easy read guide to the Mental Capacity Act 2005

An easy read guide by the Department of Health about Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and you

A useful guide for family, friends and unpaid carers from the Department of Health about Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

A leaflet on Managing my affairs if I become ill by Independent Age. 

Referral Form 1

Referral Form 2

Form 12

Form  10

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